April 18, 2022 3 min read

Maitake is a mushroom delicacy eaten as part of traditional cuisines around the world, but it's more recently been discovered for its therapeutic potential. When taken as a supplement, Maitake is often used in larger doses, which begs the question–what are the side effects of Maitake?

Let's discuss what you need to know about Maitake side effects before adding it to your daily wellness routine:

Table of Contents
Is Maitake Safe?
What are the Side Effects of Maitake?
Maitake Drug Interaction
Is Maitake Addictive?
Who Shouldn’t Take Maitake?
Maitake Side Effects FAQ

Key Takeaways

  • Maitake side effects are rare and usually mild.
  • You may be at a higher risk for side effects if you have a mushroom allergy or take certain medications.
  • You may also need to be cautious about your Maitake dosage if you have blood pressure or thyroid issues.
  • Most people can take Maitake without any complications, but talk to your doctor before changing your wellness routine.

Is Maitake Safe?

Maitake mushrooms are thought to be safe for most people. In fact, Maitake is commonly eaten both raw and cooked as a part of a healthy diet. In almost all cases, the potential benefits of Maitake supplementation outweigh the possible risks. Still, there are some rare possible side effects to be aware of.

A maitake mushroom, also known as the "hen of the woods," can be used raw or taken in supplement form.

What are the Side Effects of Maitake Mushrooms?

Based on anecdotal reports and what we know about medicinal mushrooms, side effects may include:

Lowering Your Blood Pressure

In some cases, medicinal mushrooms could lower your blood pressure. This risk is higher if you have diabetes, and you should consult your doctor about how Maitake may impact your blood pressure.

Allergic Reaction

Although it is rare, some people experience a mushroom allergy. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to Maitake mushrooms may include:

  • Swelling of the lips, mouth, and airways
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin rashes or hives
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramping
  • Bloating
  • Loose stools

Interactions With Other Supplements or Medications

In some cases, medicinal mushrooms like Maitake may interact with certain OTC and prescription medications, which could reduce their efficiency. We'll discuss this more below.

Maitake Drug Interactions

Research regarding Maitake Drug interactions is limited, but experts suggest that it may interact with certain medications because of its tendency to increase bleeding. You should be cautious when taking Maitake with blood thinning medications, such as certain prescriptions or aspirin. You may also need to avoid taking Maitake before surgery since it may increase bleeding.

Although there is not any research to help us specifically identify which drugs Maitake may have interactions with, we do know that herbal supplements and medicinal mushrooms may interact with some of the following:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Thyroid medications
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Diabetes medications

You should discuss Maitake with your doctor before starting a dosage routine if you already take one or more prescription medications daily. In many cases, Maitake is safe to take, but your dosage and dosing routine must be altered. Work with your doctor to pay attention to any Maitake side effects when combining it with other supplements and medications.

Is Maitake Addictive?

Nope! Maitake mushrooms do not directly impact the body's hormone release in the same manner as many habit-forming pharmaceuticals. In other words, Maitake has no more potential to be addictive than any of your favorite foods.

Who Shouldn’t Take Maitake?

Most people can take Maitake without complication, and the mushroom is frequently eaten raw or prepared as part of traditional cuisines. Some experts advise against Maitake supplementation for the following people:

  • Those with bleeding disorders
  • Diabetics
  • Those with immune system disorders
  • Those expecting surgery in the next two weeks
  • Anyone with a thyroid disorder
  • Anyone taking blood pressure medication
  • Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Maitake Side Effects FAQ

Can you take Maitake everyday?

Yes, Maitake can be taken daily. In fact, it's necessary to take Maitake daily to enjoy its full benefits.

Does Maitake work immediately?

Maitake does not produce any instantaneous effects. Instead it needs to be taken daily for 2-4 weeks to experience its full benefits.

Is Maitake hallucinogenic?

No. Some people confuse the term "medicinal mushroom" with psychoactive or hallucinogenic effects, but Maitake produces no such effects. Maitake will not get you high or produce any cognitive impairments.

Is Maitake mushroom a blood thinner?

Maitake mushroom might act as a blood thinner, which means it should not be combined with other blood thinning medications like warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin. It could increase your chance of bleeding and should not be used within two weeks of a scheduled surgery.

Does Maitake lower blood sugar?

Maitake may decrease blood sugar, and should therefore not be used alongside medications used to control diabetes. Work with a doctor to monitor your blood sugar when taking Maitake if you suffer from irregular blood sugar levels.


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